Now that we’ve “killed the bird,” I’m finally ready to make some Christmas cards. My sister came over today to work on packaging up some jewelry for a craft fair and while she was working on that, I made cards. It was so nice to have another female in the house! I love my boys, but sometimes I need some girl time.
I started out with some iris folding. I have a rather large stack of pre-cut, embossed cards for iris folding that need to be used up.
When I got done, I thought they looked rather plain, so I added some clip art from PcCrafter. The snowmen are from the Christmas Snowman collection by Teresa Kogut and the bear is by Laurie Furnell and is included in the Christmas Sampler 4 collection.
I haven’t done any dry embossing for quite a while, so for my next card, I got out my embossing board and embossed the border around the card as well as around the oval in the center of the card. The star was made with a Coluzzle template and the JOY stamp is from Inkadinkado.
I used a stencil to trace and cut out the ornaments for the last card. The tops and dots around the centers are drawn with a gel pen. I punched shapes for the centers and added a puffy heart, a jewel and a punched snowflake for decorations.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
A couple years ago I passed the 10-year mark at my place of employment and as a reward, I received a Krups espresso/cappuccino maker. Last year, at his company Christmas party, my husband won a really nice Cuisinart burr grinder, so now we have all we need for making a pretty decent cup of coffee. I have yet to make a cappuccino to rival those I was served when in Holland, but I can make a pretty decent mocha.
Last week, my hubby picked up some Millstone peppermint flavored coffee beans for me and some Java Delight Sumatran coffee beans for himself. I’m not a huge fan of Sumatran, because it has a tendency to be a bit too strong and bitter for my tastes. Well, last Saturday I was getting ready to fix myself a peppermint mocha and hubby had ground a little too much of his Sumatran so there was still some in the hopper, Rather than try to clean it all out, I just added the Millstone beans and ended up with a mixture of about half and half peppermint and Sumatran coffee. It made some of the best peppermint mocha yet! The Millstone coffee by itself was a bit too mild so the Sumatran added just the right amount of punch. Yummy! Here’s my Recipe:
- 1 Tbsp finely ground Java Delight Sumatran coffee
- 1 Tbsp finely ground Millstone Peppermint coffee
- 2 Tbsp Swiss Miss instant cocoa
- 1 rounded tsp sugar
- 1/4 cup (or slightly less) low-fat or skim milk
Make the coffee according to your coffee maker / espresso machine instructions (mine takes 2 Tbsp of ground coffee for one cup). Mix the milk and sugar in the steamer cup for your espresso maker* and steam it until it is frothy. Mix the brewed coffee and instant cocoa in your coffee cup, then add the steamed milk.
Now, enjoy your peppermint mocha while making cards. :)
*If you don’t have an espresso maker, I have heard that you can heat the milk/sugar mixture and then put it in your blender on high and blend it until it’s frothy.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I was chatting with one of my friends yesterday and we were both commenting that we just weren’t into the Christmas card making spirit yet. We both have blogs (click here to see hers), but neither of us has posted for a while. So I issued a challenge. We both had to post a card by tonight.
She beat me by several hours. I have an excuse, though. My sister stopped by unexpectedly with the cutest little Chihuahua puppy I’ve ever seen. After convincing my cats that she wasn’t a snack they got along fairly well. Yes, I’m pretty sure my cat, Shotput was planning on having a feast. She’s a fairly decent mouser, and the only time I’ve seen her move so quickly was when she is after a mouse. Fortunately, my youngest son was quick enough to intervene or things could have turned out badly.
My sister stayed for the afternoon and I showed her how to do paper embroidery. We had lots of fun. She didn’t finish hers, so I sent her home with needle and embroidery floss so she could finish it later.
Here is the card I made.
You can find the pattern for the ornament on my website at: http://www.handcraftedgreetings.com/embrinst.html
I made the background with my Cuttelbug Holly embossing template. After embossing, I inked it with a green stamp pad. The frame was cut from some poinsettia print paper.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I was staring blankly at my craft table today trying to figure out what to do next when I spotted some leftover tiles from my last teabag folding project. I only had six, but I didn’t want to throw them away since they were printed on photo paper.
I played with some different arrangements and this is what I came up with.
It’s quick and easy and it used up five out of six tiles.
Now, I really need to get busy on some Christmas cards. I am having a very difficult time getting into the spirit, though. It’s just too early.
Monday, October 26, 2009
But keep it to the mountains, please!
I’m starting to get into the mood for making Christmas cards. This card isn’t quite Christmas, but at least I’m getting closer to the right season! I made it with the Coluzzle Shadow Shapes Mitten template (sadly, they no longer make them). I Used dark purple card stock for the “shadow” and then cut the mitten from pink non-skid shelf liner. I finished them off with stripes from white shelf liner.
The lettering is from the Sizzlets Bounce alphabet set and the snowflakes were made with Uchida’s small snowflake punch. The card blank is from DCWV.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
This afternoon when I sat down to do some tea bag folding, I decided to print the tiles and background on photo paper. I had never done that before because photo paper is a bit heavy for tea bag folding. However, I bought some lower end photo paper recently that is lighter weight than most, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Well, the colors look great, but the tiles were a pain to fold. I don’t think I’ll do that again!
I made the background and tiles using the Kaleidoscope Kreator 3 (KK3) Frame Frenzy add on and clipart from Dover’s Treasury of Greeting Card Designs. Since I wanted to print it all on one sheet of photo paper, I chose to print the tiles and frame using my new Tile Page Generator software instead of printing straight from KK3.
I am looking for testers for the Tile Page Generator software, so if you’re interested, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a link where you can download it.
I’ve been learning Visual Basic for the past couple of months and I’ve written an application that prints tile pages for tea bag folding. Here’s a screen shot of the selection page:
If you’re interested in testing it, let me know and I’ll send you a link so you can download it.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
OK. I’m hooked! Kaleidoscope Kreater is so much fun! I finally got around to buying some low-end photo paper (HP Everyday Photo) so the colors are much brighter.
Here are the cards I made today. The first one I made from an image from a Dutch tile book.
The second one was made from some free clip art from Dover.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I splurged on myself this week and bought some craft supplies from CreativExpress. One of the things I bought was the Sylized Flowers embossing folder. I had some yellow paper left over from the Card I made Thursday that was just the right size for a 4 1/4” x 5 1/2” card, so I embossed that. Next I broke out my Coluzzle templates and cut some red flowers and green leaves and stems.
It’s a very quick and simple card, but I like the bright colors. They make me happy.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I recently purchased and downloaded a project guide from Kaleidoscope Kreator to get some ideas for more things to make with their software. The first project that caught my eye was card with a layered star and I wanted to learn how to make it.
I used a picture of a Dianthus from my garden to create the star. After that, I just followed the instructions, which were very easy, and the card went together surprisingly fast.
The really neat thing about Kaleidoscope Kreator is that you can print the same design in multiple sizes on a single page. This makes it ideal for printing tiles for tea bag folding. You can also use it to print on fabric to make pieces for a quilt. it is really quite versatile. To see some of the other things you can do with Kaleidoscope Kreator, check out their idea gallery at http://www.kaleidoscopecollections.com/ideas.htm.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Over the past few Thursday evenings I have been teaching my friend's daughter how to make cards. It has been really fun and she is quite talented. I showed her iris folding and I think she's hooked. She made her first card using my fan pattern (sorry, I didn't get a picture). Her second card was a seashell. Here it is:
As you can see, she has quite an eye for design. I'm looking forward to seeing what she makes next Thursday!
The card I made is for a man at church who is in the hospital with cancer. The design was inspired by the memory of one Sunday afternoon when he was out in the field next to our parking lot with a fishing pole teaching one of our other members how to cast.
You can't tell from the photo, but the fish and the lure are 3-d. The images are from PcCrafter's Father's Day collection by Dwight Kirkland.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Ah, finally, the creative juices are beginning to flow again. It's good to be back! The design for this card just popped into my head and I had to get it out before it vanished. I used some clip-art from PcCrafter as a pattern for the dove. I traced the body and the wing separately onto white paper, cut them out and then used distress ink to shade them. I rounded the edges with a large-ball embossing tool to give them some dimension and then mounted them on the background using foam squares.
I did the writing on the ornament with a metallic silver pen I bought several years ago from Creative Memories. At the time, I thought the set of four pens was awfully expensive, but they were well worth every penny. They write so smoothly, they dry fast and they never clog.
The writing isn't quite freehand. I used Printmaster to format it in a circular shape, then I printed it out and used my light box to trace the basic lettering onto the ornament in pencil before finishing it with the metallic pen.
I was invited to a Yuku card making group, Just Cards, some time ago and finally got around to joining today. It's been months since I have done anything remotely crafty so I needed some inspiration. The current card sketch on Just Cards was just what I needed and it was perfect for one of my favorite Bible verses.
It's pretty simple, but after such a long card making dry spell, I think it turned out all right.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
After making the moose yesterday, I decided I wanted to try something a little more complex. I found this really pretty Japanese style butterfly in my clip art collection.
This time, I put the pattern on top of the card stock and traced it with a stylus, then I cut the butterfly out with my X-Acto knife. It was a little tricky because I have fairly bad eyesight so I had to work with my nose practically on the paper so I could see the indentations from the stylus.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Tomorrow is my oldest son's 23rd birthday. How time flies! As I sat down this afternoon to make his card, I was at a loss for what to do. Cards for guys have always been a challenge. Recently I saw some really pretty silhouette cards on one of the groups I belong to, so I decided to make one of those, but instead of using flowers I wanted used his favorite animal, the moose.
I searched through my clip art files and found the perfect image. Here is the result:
- 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" gold card blank
- 4 x 5 1/4 brown card stock
- scraps of blue, brown, green and dark green handmade paper.
- x-acto knife
- Precision point scissors (like Cutter Bee)
- Gold border stickers
- Gold Happy Birthday sticker
- Find a suitable image for the silhouette
- Draw a frame around the image, making sure that part of the image touches each side of the frame. This is your pattern.
- If your card stock is light enough, you can use a light box to trace the pattern onto the card, otherwise, use temporary adhesive to stick the pattern to the card.
- Cut around the pattern with an x-acto knife or precision scissors, making sure not to cut the parts of the image that touch the edges of the frame.
- Layer torn pieces of handmade paper behind the silhouette.
- Add gold border sticker and gold Happy Birthday sticker
- Mount on gold card blank.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I came up with the idea for this card Tuesday while I was at work. That seems to happen to me a lot. I come up with designs when I am away from my craft room and then when I arrive home, I have forgotten all about it. Tuesdays are especially problematic because I go straight to night school after work. After class is over I have to pick my youngest son up from high school because he is in the pep band and Tuesdays are game nights. As a result, I didn't get home until after 9:00 p.m. and by then I was just dying to get my design down on paper before I forgot about it.
I created a pattern in SmartDraw, rummaged through my paper supply (which took a considerable amount of time) and got to work. Here is the result.
The fan went together really fast. I used the repeating pattern in some gift wrap for the iris folding. The edging along the top and bottom of the fan is made from the edge of a paper doily. The fan slats are cut from tan parchment card stock. I think next time I will use some distress ink on them. The flowers and leaves are made with paper punches.
You can find the pattern for the fan on my web site at: http://www.handcraftedgreetings.com/irisfoldinst.html
I will probably be making another one of these soon. I have all the paper picked out, it's just a matter of finding time. Lately my evenings and weekends have been extremely busy.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Since I've been having such a hard time coming up with ideas for cards lately, I decided to pull out my scrapbooking stuff instead (which means, pretty much the same stuff I had out already, just add pictures!). I still have a ton of pictures to rescue from my old "magnetic" albums. The stack I'm working on now is from Christmas 1978. Yeah, I have a LONG way to go!!!
Here's today's layout:
Nothing fancy. The papers are from the DCWV Metallic Stack and Christmas stack. I managed to snag both stacks for less than half price at JoAnn's. I cut the pictures out using my Coluzzle nested rectangle and nested square templates.
The composition of the photos themselves could definitely be better. I was 14 when I took them and I was using a 110 camera.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
I have had a serious creativity block this week. Finally today, I managed to come up with something, but only after staring at my supplies for what seemed like hours.
This one is really simple.
- Draw or trace a heart on plain paper for the pattern
- Use a ruler and drew lines on it to divide it into sections.
- Use a light box to trace the sections onto different pieces of patterned paper
- Distress the edges of the heart pieces with white ink
- Glue all of the pieces onto red card stock, leaving about 1/16th inch between them.
- Cut out out around the heart.
- Use the Cuttlebug D'vine Swirl embossing folder to Emboss a piece of 4" x 5.25"
- Cut four corners using the corner die from the Cuttlebug Vintage die set.
- Mount the vellum on a white card blank
- Add the corners and the heart.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
I haven't had much time this week for crafting, but I have had a little bit of time to play with Kaleidoscope Kreator and I made some square, round and octagon shaped tea bag tiles. Here are a few. If you would like to download any of them, click the one you want to open it in full size, then right-click and save the image.
You can find tea bag tile folding instructions on my web site at http://www.handcraftedgreetings.com/teabaginst.html.
Square tea bag tiles:
Round tea bag tiles:
Octagon tea bag tiles:
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I got the idea for this box from some junk main one of my co-workers received. If you push down on it, it flattens out so that you can put it in an envelope, but when you take it out of the envelope it springs into a box shape. I thought it was just about the coolest thing I'd ever seen, so of course, I had to figure out how it was done. The secret is that it has a rubber band inside.
The box my co-worker received was hexagon shaped, but I thought it would be easier to start out with a square. Here's mine flattened out in my scanner:
I used Kaleidoscope Kreator 3 to print the graphics for the sides. Next time, I will make sure that the flowers on the top half of the box sides are right side up. Oops!
For the top, I punched out a square with my scalloped square punch, stamped Happy birthday and added some punch flowers.
And here's another view of it popped up:
You can download a copy of the box template and instructions from my website at:
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Here is a sympathy card I made recently for a friend. The flowers are made from parchment. I've always admired parchment work, but I've only done one other piece. This card is an extremely simple example of parchment work which is usually much more elaborate.
Here's a closer look at the flowers.
Here's what I used to make the card:
- Parchment paper
- Flower pattern from PCCrafter's Daisy Bears collection by Lori Gardner
- Coluzzle regular and large nested circle templates.
- Green vellum for the leaves
- Paper from David Walker Studios
- Small, medium and large ball embossing tools.
- White gel pen
After making the card I found this excellent tutorial for doing parchment work and discovered several things I did wrong!
Julie, one of my best and longest-time card making friends gave me these awards.
First I am to list 5 things I am addicted to:
1. Well, I don't know that I'd call it an addiction, perhaps obsession would be better! Number one is my family, particularly my granddaughter.
2. Paper crafting, which encompasses a multitude of techniques. I don't like to be tied down to any particular one for very long and tend to go through phases.
3. Kaleidoscope Kreator 3. I really liked version 2, but version 3 is oh, so much better. I could spend hours creating designs from my photos and graphics collections.
4. My website and blog. I'm always looking for something to add to them and I check the statistics almost every day.
5. Clip Art. I am a clip art junkie. Right now my absolute favorite place to go for clip art is PCCrafter.com.
1. Lori Jean - She has a a wide variety of crafty creations on her blog including tons of free downloads, yummy recipes and frugal gift ideas.
2. Frances - I love the imagination and creativity she puts into her card layouts, and man, can she color stamped images! All of her creations look so professional.
3. Faith - Another extremely talented stamper and oh, I am SO envious of her stamping room!
4. Susan - I never know what I'm going to find on her blog. She does EVERYTHING and does it so well!
5. Giovana - I met Giovana through an MSN group I ran for a while. Her creations are cheery and upbeat and I love the selection of music on her blog.
Monday, January 19, 2009
I had the day off today, so of course, I spent some time making cards. Here is a Valentine's card I made that combines iris folding and 3-D decoupage.
For the iris folding, I drew a heart with one of my graphics programs and used it as a pattern for the cut-out. I used the largest triangle from my iris folding triangle template which can be found here:
The iris folding paper is gift wrap I purchased some time ago at the dollar store.
For the crowning touch, I used this little bunny from Colleen Parry's Petals and Patches collection at PCCrafter. Isn't she adorable? The decoupage was done in five layers and didn't take very long at all. When using more than three layers for decoupage, I use card stock between the layers instead of double-stick foam squares, otherwise it makes the card too thick to mail.
List of materials:
- A2 Red glittered card blank from DCWV
- White card stock (print the bunny on this)
- Pink card stock (print Some Bunny Loves You on this)
- Fiolex Girls font
- X-Acto knife
- Drawing software (or draw heart free-hand)
- Three different colors of giftwrap cut in 1" wide strips (about 18" of each color)
- Heart jewel
- PSX Mini heart brads
- 5 copies of Bunny from the Petals and Patches collection at PCCrafter printed about 3 inches high.
- Precision tip scissors
You can find detailed instructions for iris folding here:
I have been looking through the sampling of Valentine's Day cards in the Treasury of Greeting Card Designs from Dover and I find it interesting to observe the differences in today's Valentine's Day cards and those done in the late 1800's.
Two of the changes I noticed right away are that the cards of yesteryear used the color red much more sparingly and frequently incorporated violets, a flower which is not seen nearly as often in today's Valentine's cards. Roses were also popular, but were usually interspersed with other flowers as well.
Here's a card I made using one of the images from the Dover treasury as a base.
To create the tiles for the tea bag medallion, I loaded the image into Kaleidoscope Kreator 3 and zoomed in on the violets that were in the lower left corner. Here's the tile:
I printed it out at 1.75 x 1.75 inches. The fold I used can be found here:
After folding the medallion, I gave it a border by mounting it on two, two-inch squares of dark green card stock. I also added a little pink jewel-flower to the center.
Materials & equipment used to make this card:
- 4" x 6" card blank (ivory)
- Art from Treasury of Greeting Card Designs
- 8 tea bag tiles
- Gold peel-off border
- Queen & Co. flower-shaped jewel
- Tea bag folding instructions
- Dark green card stock.